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What TV show has the best Picture Quality you've seen?

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Old 07-10-2007, 12:40 PM   #1
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Default What TV show has the best Picture Quality you've seen?

I'm on Comcast cable and even though I don't regularly watch this show it seems to me that every time I click past it, it has an outstanding picture. CBS - CSI. Second/tied might be Planet Earth. What do others think?

I'll start (note I haven't seen the NFL yet) - any non HD DVD or Blu-ray source.

TV Res - 1366x768
Source - Comcast cable, STB set to output 1080i
Show - CSI - Miami, maybe NY too
Channel - CBS

Last edited by biosol; 07-10-2007 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:11 PM   #2
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The CSI's do look good. The Miami one with all the orange and yellow hues always sticks out as a great picture. Too bad David Caruso's acting is so hokey.

NFL on CBS and Fox too always look good.

Anything on Discovery HD...Planet Earth was phenomenal.
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:41 PM   #3
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Any live event that is broadcast in 1080i (baseball, football, basketball, etc.) or Discovery HD.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:34 PM   #4
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*Not* any NBC drama (Medium, Law and Order). Sharp, but no fine detail to speak of. Perhaps they're shooting in 16mm and not doing the best telecine or something?

PBS shows can look awesome--when they hold the camera still. Once they move it, the incredibly high compression rears its ugly head (it falls to VCD resolution).
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proc View Post
The CSI's do look good. The Miami one with all the orange and yellow hues always sticks out as a great picture. Too bad David Caruso's acting is so hokey.

NFL on CBS and Fox too always look good.

Anything on Discovery HD...Planet Earth was phenomenal.
I agree on the CSIs (especially Miami). I watch them with my mouth agape often. They look amazing.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:04 AM   #6
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I'm 100% with emil, any live sports event or Discovery HD.
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Old 07-13-2007, 02:03 PM   #7
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Well I haven't had HD for long, but things that have really jumped out at me are David Letterman, The Office, and believe it or not (I was only scanning the channels, honestly) The View.

But really the best thing I've seen so far is the Atlanta Channel 2 Action News broadcast. It's absolutely beautiful in detail and color, and it doesn't have the compression that many shows have.
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:20 AM   #8
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I agree with the CSI:Miami pick. I think the producers of the show "punch up" (oversaturate), and otherwise mess with the colors, to give it the "look" that it has. It is fun to watch....and would be more so if they could "punch up" David Caruso's acting!
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Old 07-14-2007, 05:54 PM   #9
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I agree about Letterman. Especially if you do an A-B switch with Leno. It's much sharper. I thought the one time I watched Boston Legal it looked amazing.
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:32 AM   #10
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In the central california area the Discovery HD is picture perfect.
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:51 AM   #11
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I love the way Creature Comforts looks in HD on CBS, and while I don't watch any other CBS shows, CBS HD looks better than most other networks.

Besides that, most Discovery HD Theater and MOJO shows look decent. NBA games on ABC HD did deliver a nice picture quality (and was a major jump from their horrible looking SD broadcast).

However, with the few exceptions, most of the HD broadcasts look more like DVD quality than HD. Prime examples are the Law & Order shows on TNT. Even "premium" channels like HBO don't put out anything that impress me.

For example, two nights ago me and my g/f sat down to watch PotC: Dead Man's Chest. We have the DVD from Netflix, but it's also available from Starz HD On Demand. I figured we watch it from Starz, since it's the "HD" version and by definition, it should look better.

Well, we played it for a bit and as usual, I wasn't impressed. So, I decided to pop in the DVD (plus, my g/f likes to have subtitles). Mind you, I don't have an upscaling or high-end DVD player (see sig), but picture quality of the DVD was equal to the HD On Demand. I don't claim to have perfect vision (I do wear glasses ), but side by side (Starz HD and DVD), I couldn't imagine the majority of folk being able to notice a difference.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:02 AM   #12
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That doesn't surprise me at all. Film directors have always "used" the flexibility of dealing with the film they shoot to suit their "artistic" choices. I suspect a lot of HD conversions from film must use the "release print." Speilberg's War of the Worlds is another good example, I've seen theatrical, SD DVD, and HD. The DVD was 16:9, as was the HD cable broadcast and lemme tell you, I'd bet you could get 50 folks to watch and half would say HD the other SD in a comparison viewing of either source.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:20 AM   #13
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Saturday Night Live is great in HD...

here is a shocker... Wheel of Fortune is an amazing picture in HD
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:50 AM   #14
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Star Trek Enterprise on HD-Net looks awesome!
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Old 08-18-2007, 10:41 AM   #15
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Default Best PQ

Have been comparing PQ since mid-2000 with a Philips 9"-gun 64" CRT RPTV, using NYC's Time Warner Cable and various converters.

Travelogues/documentaries usually seem to have the best PQ resolution-wise. Live 1080i, such as sports, is delivered similarly to the taped late-night shows: 1080i makes 60 'snapshots' per second (~1/48 sec exposure), which smooths motion even though each snapshot is 540 interlaced lines or half-frames. Dramas are taped or filmed at 24 fps, with choppier motion, then delivered by 1080i with judder-producing duplicate TV fields (2-3 pulldown). Few fixed-pixel displays process 2-3-pulldown video properly to minimize judder.

Dramas are shot with varying amounts of camera-lens filtering and deliberate shallow depth of field, blurring image areas to draw attention to other areas. For example, the current TNT miniseries, "The Company," was shot with a new digital-cinema camera, the German Arriflex D-20 , which can oversample/downconvert from its 35-mm-size sensor to enhance 1080-resolution outputs. But the production, as detailed in the August '07 American Cinematographer (p26+, click free preview), used lens filtering and lighting to create chiaroscuro-style images used by Rembrandt and other artists. This softened actor's skin to help simulate 40-years of aging throughout the series, and evoke '50s-'60s images.

Most drama series, such as the three CSIs, are filmed with 35mm cameras. Film still seems to provide better-contrast images compared to the 'flatter' look of digitally captured images. And cinematographers point out using video cameras requires special attention to lighting since bright areas are easily 'blown out'. -- John
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